The 1990s were a crazy time. Boy bands were a thing; the internet was just getting started, and people were doing ungodly things to their hair. Of course, hairstyles come and go. Some stay past their welcome, and others die quicker than you can say “mullet.”
From crimping to spiky hair, there were so many bad 90’s hairstyles it’s hard to include them all. Let’s go back in time, shall we? Here are 25 Worst 90’s Hairstyles We Can’t Believe Were Popular.
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Front flipped hair
Worn by Alicia Silverstone in the movieClueless, the front flipped hairstyle in the ’90s was so easy, all girls had to do was swoop over part of their hair and call it a day.
"The Rachel" Haircut
“The Rachel” haircut from the hit television show Friends spawned a thousand look-alikes in the early ’90s. From the looks of it, it was originally conceived from a Billy Ray Cyrus haircut. Though word on the street is Jennifer Aniston wasn’t a huge fan of it, to begin with.
Sarah Jessica Parker Perm
The Perm is something of an old relic where women, and sometimes men, would put a giant upside down bowl over their heads that magically curled their hair. We’d gather this thing existed probably until “The Rachel” came on the scene. A true shame.
The 90’s poofy ponytail as seen above was like a volcanic explosion of hair that burst out of someone’s head and just hung there, waiting desperately to go out of style. Also, scrunchies.
Two words that’ll haunt your nightmares and make you look over your shoulder: gelled curls. This was the look 90’s guys wanted to be Justin Timberlake. Or, maybe, look like they always just got out of the shower.
Whatever N'Sync was Doing
All of this. From the Eminem’s hair, the spiky hair, the dreadlocks, and the Eddie Munster, N’Sync essentially wrapped up the worst 90’s haircuts in one fell swoop.
A variation of The Rachel haircut, the zig-zag part ruthlessly taunted people with OCD. It was also something of a rebellious statement. Or, maybe they weren’t sure how to make a proper part in the first place? We’re going with the latter.
Oh, look, Christina Aguilera is back. Colors in stark contrast to each other were pretty hot back in the ’90s. In her case, looking like half of your head was bleeding, we guess, was the right way to go. Today, subtlety is the name of the game.
The high-top fade is starting to make a bit of a comeback. Those responsible probably haven’t asked the important questions like, “Am I really doing this?” In the ’90s, this look was popularized by Will Smith, among others. They probably wished they asked the important questions back then, too.
Everyone saw this coming. The bowl cut. A 90’s trend that plagued the heads of boys everywhere. Hairstylists must have been out of their minds to allow this nightmare to continue. Sure, it’s neat and tidy. It takes care of the mullet problem. But making someone’s head look like a mushroom isn’t the best alternative.
Parted Bowl Cut
Somewhere down the road, the bowl cut evolved into the parted bowl cut. Ancient legends tell of a boy that discovered a comb in the ruins of his bathroom. With his new found power, he split his bowl cut right down the middle, and behold, the parted bowl cut was born. This thing spread like wildfire, showing up on every 90’s sitcom in the entire TGIF lineup. We’re glad millennials got it out of their system and moved on.
Flat twists are the sweatpants of hairstyles. It may be comfortable to get the hair out of your face but it’s likely to make you look like Medusa reborn.
In the ’90s, crimping was all the rage, making girls look like they hadn’t brushed their hair in weeks. Some just couldn’t decide if they wanted to fully crimp their hair or like Britney Spears, just kinda-sorta crimp their hair. Let’s be honest, both options didn’t lead to anything good.
When the bowl cut died down, guys wandered over to a new domain. The frosted tips. It’s essentially a mash-up of a porcupine that walked through a blizzard. Hair gel profits went through the roof.
It was a dark time. Women of the 90’s enslaved helpless plastic butterflies to hold up their hair into bizarre and ill-advised ways. When the trend died down, society declared in one voice, “Never again.”
Mel Gibson's Mane
Once upon a time, Mel Gibson lead a small following of brave men into the unknown world of long, flowing locks. We’re not sure if it’s a mullet or a mane, but it existed. And even if it was for a short period of time, it’s hard to forget.
The only reason that this thing exists is that it is apparently failed attempt to copy Mel Gibson’s mane. We’re really hoping this never became popular. There’s nothing within this haircut that makes any sense whatsoever. For that reason, we’re calling it The Chewbacca.
Scary Spice Hair
There’s a reason they called her Scary Spice. Her wild, crazy, and goat-horned hair didn’t do her, or anyone else that adopted the look, any favors.
While not as bad as the bowl cut, Hanson took the long hair look to a whole new, horrible level. It’s bad enough for one to have long hair, but for all of them to copy each other took it one step too far. Fortunately, it Mmmbop’d into obscurity pretty darn quick.
Popularized by Lionel Richie and that assassin Samuel L. Jackson played in Pulp Fiction, the Jheri curl is basically a perm. But, for guys. Because guys will never admit to having a perm. Ever.
Hair gel allowed 90’s kids to do all kinds of crazy stuff to their hair. Unfortunately, spiking it up to insanely high levels was one trend we’re wishing never happened. Punk rockers and skater boys especially pushed this hairstyle to its limits, spitting in gravity’s face.
Vanilla Ice Hair
While he may have ripped off the track of “Ice, Ice Baby” from Queen, it’s safe to say Vanilla Ice’s haircut is a work of his own creation. Whatever happened on that fabled day, clearly the hairstylist stopped, collaborated, and listened.
Before he was Hawkeye, Jeremy Renner committed the unthinkable in 1991. He got a mullet. Now, no one can blame him for hopping into this 90’s fade at a young age. The mullet was an enticing style for those who wanted a business look up front with a little party in the back.
90’s parents might have thought it was cute to let their kids grow rat tails, but there’s really no excuse for having one. It’s the easiest piece of hair to cut off. And if for some reason a hairstyle has the word “rat” in it, chances are you’ve made the wrong call.
The curly mullet took an already awful hairstyle and dialed it up to eleven. Whether permed or natural, this brand of mullet defied all logic and decided to have a party all the time, even during business hours.
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